In a ridiculously overzealous and inappropriate move, a teacher in New York has started seriously limiting her students' bathroom access. And by seriously limit, I mean they only are allowed three bathroom passes a WEEK. Three!
According to the New York Post, students in Ms. Stephanie Warner's fifth grade class at P.S. 90 in Brooklyn say they are given three strips of paper that say, “This coupon entitles [student name] to bathroom.” If they are lost or otherwise destroyed, then they are, well ... sh*t out of luck. And when they do get to go, they only get three minutes to do so.
Not only that, they're encouraged to use as few of those strips as possible, and are awarded prizes the less they go. Can you hear urologists across the country shrieking about the damage holding it can do? If not, that's only because the cries of parental outrage may be louder.
I understand that students may sometimes use the restroom unnecessarily to get out of class, and that when one student has to go, there's often a cascade effect. As Ms. Warner stated in an email to the school's principal, she was "exasperated with the constant bathroom needs." But this isn't the way to deal with the issue.
Yes, it would be great if all of the kids only went during lunch or other designated breaks, but nature doesn't always work that way -- especially not with kids. If my kid was going an unusual amount of times, I'd want to know as a parent, so we could figure out why it was happening. It could be anything from a medical problem to just a bored student looking for an excuse to get out of class. Or maybe the kid really just needs to go more than this teacher thinks necessary. Whatever the reason, that needs to be addressed rather than seeing who can hold it the longest and rewarding those with the biggest bladders with pencils and other trinkets in this warped anti-pissing contest.
While the intent is obvious, the policy is simply outrageous and potentially dangerous and humiliating for students. The teacher and school principal haven't commented yet, but hopefully they will do so soon ... with news that kids are free to pee.
Do you think limiting students' bathroom breaks in this manner is outrageous?
Image via Kyle Taylor, Do it. Dream It. World Tour/Flickr